Shalene and Andrew’s Destination Wedding in Costa Rica

February 3, 2016

Real Weddings

RIU Palace Costa Rica LUXE Destination WeddingAbout Shalene and Andrew
Occupations: Pharmacist/Computer Systems Architect
How they met: Blind Date
What attracted Andrew to Shalene:
Always in search of adventure!
Never turns down a chance to eat
Dreams of unending future FITS (Fun In The Sun) trips with family, friends, and Shalene!
Remembers that the key to a happy life is a happy wife
Expert researcher in deals
Wandered the world in search of the best of everything, and found that it was all at home in Toronto!
What attracted Shalene to Andrew:
Swims like a fish
Hopeful and happy
An avid runner
Loves chocolate cake, apple pies, ice cream, and tequila
Enjoys every moment with Family, Friends, and Fiance
Never turns down a chance to play with dogs
Expert napper
RIU Palace Costa Rica LUXE Destination WeddingRIU Palace Costa Rica LUXE Destination WeddingRIU Palace Costa Rica LUXE Destination WeddingRIU Palace Costa Rica LUXE Destination WeddingEngagement story:
From Andrew: “What I know about Shalene… Shalene likes Dogs, Books, Tea, Running, Sleep, Friends, Movies, Travel, Korean Food and Chocolate Cake.

I travel frequently for work.  One of the benefits of this is the accumulation of points for free air travel, hotels, car rentals and even food! At the time, I was working on a project in New Jersey, and decided to have Shalene come in for a visit to check out New York City. In her mind, it would be a chance to sight-see, eat, and catch up with friends, as well as new additions to their families!  For me, it was the time to tick off items on Shalene’s wish list!

On Monday, February 4th, 2013, I informed Shalene that we would be having an Adventure Day, which would involve following my lead to various points in Manhattan and solving a puzzle.  Our first stop was to Central Park to the picturesque Gapstow Bridge, home to many famous movie scenes. A quick pic was taken, and then Puzzle Piece #1 was provided on a furry cut¬out piece of paper.

The piece of paper had a single letter written on it, followed by this statement:

‘W’ander.  We wander for distraction and we travel for fulfillment.  Confused, Shalene accepted the puzzle piece and we moved onto the next spot, the popular Housing Works Bookstore, to satiate her love of books.  Here Shalene received another furry puzzle piece with another letter and another statement:

‘A’thlete.  The reason we race is isn’t so much to beat each other, but to be with each other.  The next location was the highly rated Sun’s Organic Tea Shop, where a sample of fragrant teas were purchased, and a third puzzle piece was given:

‘S’leep.  No day is so bad that it can’t be fixed with a nap. Our fourth and final stop was on the Brooklyn Bridge, a haven for runners.  It was here that I gave Shalene the last piece of paper:

‘Y’ou know when you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams <3.

The furry puzzle pieces were arranged together to form a card… in the shape of a dog :).  The letters spelled out our initials:

S.W.A.Y.

As a prize for completing the puzzle and surviving the Adventure Day in the chilly winter weather, Shalene received an engraved handbag, and upon opening, found a small box inside with her ring of engagement!  We celebrated over a tasty dinner at the ‘World’s Highest Korean Restaurant’, with a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline.  After our hunger was satisfied, it was time to head back to the hotel…

As a frequent hotel user, the staff knew me well, and kindly offered to surprise my new fiance by decorating our hotel suite for our return.  As Shalene opened the door, she saw a trail of red petals, tea lights, strawberries and chocolate fondue, and a card that said… ‘Congratulations Shalene & Greg’!!  There had apparently been a mix-up with the names!  I chuckle when recalling the responses from friends after telling them the story: ‘Who’s Greg??’ / ‘Congrats Greg!!’

The night was completed with a final surprise: the tasting of a special chocolate cake ordered through a canine-themed bakery, upon which the furry dog card was placed with a new message inside…it began with ‘Shalene, Will You…’ and on the top of the cake was written: S.W.A.Y. with me?

That’s our Engagement Story! S.W. & A.Y.
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Wedding date: February 15, 2014
Number of Guests: 50
Shalene’s most memorable moment: Marrying Andrew!
Andrew’s most memorable moment: Marrying Shalene!
Their advice to others: Relax and enjoy every moment of each day.
Most unexpected moment: Due to the polar vortex weather issues, 2 of the bridesmaids (+1 husband), arrived 3 hrs before the wedding ceremony! The airline also lost their luggage, but some last minute dress lending and creative picture taking helped to save the day!
Honeymoon: Surfing, horse-back riding, canyoning, ziplining, volcano and rainforest exploration in Costa Rica!
Ceremony & Reception location: Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Bridal gown: Maggie Sottero
Groom’s outfit: Suit Supply
Photographer: Bella Wang Photography
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Fun Stuff
Type of Ring: Platinum Round Solitaire Diamond (hers) & Cobalt Chrome (his)
Wedding Colors: Coral & Grey
What did you put in gift bags?: Sunscreen, aloe vera, tylenol, fan, waterproof camera, blistex, gum, crossword icebreaker puzzles
Most romantic moment: Celebrating our union at sunset with close friends and family.
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